Saturday, November 20, 2010


Friday’s game delivered on its hype.

The Brockport-Geneseo rivalry made for a very well played game, one that any hockey fan would have enjoyed. Even though the home team lost 3-2 it was one of the more exciting games of the past couple of years.

Here are my random musings on the event…

* You knew from the start that it was going to be a tight game. Over 4 minutes into the contest neither team had put a shot on goal

* Geneseo’s Andy Rygiel scored on the Blue Knights’ second shot of the game. It was a real head scratcher. He moved the puck unassisted and unmolested from beyond center ice, nearly the other blue line. I knew he was a fast kid, but, wow!

* I’ve watched maybe 200 DIII hockey games over the years. This one was the first that I’ve ever seen decided by a line change. Geneseo’s game winning goal by Jonathan Redlick capitalized on a Brockport line change that occurred while the puck while still in the Brockport zone. Geneseo’s Ryan Bulach, who was across ice from the Brockport bench, saw that unfolding and expertly fed the advancing forwards before Brockport’s fresh skaters could get into their first strides

* Brockport’s defense was markedly-improved from what we’ve seen this season. The stat line may show 37 shots on goal, but most were not what you’d call quality shots. The defensemen kept the wingers at bay and forced them to take long-distance shots. There were very few times that the Knights were atop Brockport’s crease

* Brockport goaltender Oliver Wren was tested a few times and he was up to the task. He made some impressive saves in the last 2 stanzas. 7 minutes into the 2nd he made a diving stop of a for-sure goal. With 5 minutes left in that period he showed catlike reflexes and good strength: Lying flat on his belly he did a one-armed pushup and caught a wrist shot with his glove, his most exciting save of the night. His best save, though, was in the 3rd when he single-handedly stopped a breakaway

* Mike Hayward showed last night, yet again, that he’s the #1 defenseman on the team. The man can cover a lot of ice and he physically matches up well with the SUNYAC’s elite forwards. He did not allow a quality shot to be fired from his proximity all night

* He was aided quite well by 2 freshmen. Pat Hayden showed that physical style of play that Brockport has been lacking this season. He made Geneseo regret getting into the Brockport zone any chance he could.

* Their fellow D-man, Matt Deluca, scored for the second time in as many games. It was a really impressive slapshot from the blue line that flew past Adrian Rubeniuk’s shoulder like a rocket. The young man has a really nice shot. Here’s hoping for more scoring chances in the future!

* James Cody’s performance further cemented his status as Brockport’s most-exciting player. His goal in the first was all him. He out-muscled Geneseo and with limited space to make a shot he put a wrister past Rubeniuk. The Geneseo goaltender then returned the favor in the second absolutely robbing James of a goal on a breakaway.

* James nearly tied the game twice in the last minute. With 50 seconds left he fired a very hard shot that flew off the goalies’s blocker to back beyond the blue line. Then, with 7 seconds left, James rifled a shot off the crossbar. So close!

* The nearly 800 fans in attendance were almost treated to a donnybrook after the game. After the final bell Adam Shoff was mixing it up with not one, but three guys and he was so fired up his gloves came off (luckily, nobody obliged him. The NCAA frowns on fights). You’ve got to love his energy!

* Last night the game was considered "sold out". Attendees could not re-enter without their ticket or stamp. The 2 pep bands took up a fair amount of space (maybe enough for 75 people), so it's probably safe to say (given the 800 headcount was correct) that the maximum capacity due to SERC's impact on Tuttle is no more than 900 about 1/2 that it should be. It's noticable with so many seats and standing room space taken away.

* All in all, a very exciting game and a performance that Brockport can (despite the “L”) take pride in

Here's what the athletic department reported...

Behind goals from junior James Cody (Schwenksville, PA/Philly Little Flyers) and freshman Matt DeLuca (Skippack, PA/Syracuse Stars), The College at Brockport’s ice hockey team twice rallied from one-goal deficits before losing at home to rival Geneseo 3-2 Friday night.

Trailing 3-2, and with an extra attacker after junior goalie Oliver Wren (Oakville, ONT/Oakville Blades) was pulled late in the third period, Cody had a good look on goal with seven seconds left, but his shot ricocheted off the post and Brockport (0-7 Overall, 0-6 SUNYAC) couldn’t net the equalizer.

Geneseo took a 1-0 lead 6:15 into the game, but Cody responded with an unassisted goal 3:45 later. Cody skated in alone on goal and buried his shot to the far portion of the net, his team-leading fourth goal of the year, to tie it at one.

The Blue Knights (5-1-2, 4-1-1) answered back 96 seconds later to retake the lead, 2-1. The score remained the same for the rest of the first period scoreless, as well as the first 10:06 of the second period, until DeLuca netted his second goal in three games for the Golden Eagles. Junior Adam Shoff (Port Dover, ONT/Port Colborne Sailers) fired a shot on net, and the rebound came out to DeLuca, who blasted a shot from outside the left circle and in to knot the score at two.

Geneseo regained the lead with 4:49 to play in the third, and despite several good scoring chances down the stretch, Brockport was unable to come away with a win.

A game removed from surrendering seven goals during a road loss to Morrisville, the Golden Eagles’ defensive players, particularly Mike Hayward (Toronto, ONT/Vaughan Vipers) and Patrick Hayden (Springfield, PA/Philadelphia Little Flyers), did a good job limiting Geneseo’s chances. Wren made 34 saves for the Golden Eagles, who next travel to Elmira College for a 7 p.m. contest Saturday night.

“I was impressed with the energy we had for sixty minutes, we’ve been hit or miss all year long and we worked on guys just paying attention to their own work ethic and not worrying about the end result,” said Brian Dickinson, Brockport’s head coach.

“Hopefully we’re in a spot where we’re starting to take that next step. We hit rock bottom last week at Fredonia (7-0 loss) and quite frankly, this was a gut check for us. Geneseo is a team that will probably compete for a SUNYAC championship and we played them tooth and nail for sixty minutes.”